Type: Narrative Essays
Sample donated: Barry Dixon
Last updated: June 16, 2019
The intention of Grotesque Characterization is the method of making it a version of human character traits or a twisted reflection of a recognizable place like “The comic tone of the narrative and the disquieting final note create the grotesque” (Dickens 68). Grotesque characters can have some type of dilemma in society in my ways, an example would be The Great Gatsby when Nick tells the readers that he’s going to enter the lives of women or when Faulkner tells us about the necrophilia that is being done under the nose of many people in “A Rose for Emily”. As a matter of fact, anything that we see as abnormal is to be considered a problem in our society. Another example would be in “The Female Body” when Atwood explains to us that “The Female Body has many uses.
It’s been used as a door-knocker, a bottle opener, as a clock with a ticking belly, as something to hold up lampshades, as a nutcracker, just squeeze the brass legs together and out comes your nut…”, Atwood does this to be specific about all the detailed descriptions of the cringing uses of the Female Body, which is being taken as an object. The Grotesque Characterization is best understood as a brutal realization technique to show the true values of Americans. Despite the technique being so graphic at times, the utilization of the Grotesque reveals the cold hard truth for the audience that is numb to it. In The Great Gatsby, the Valley of the Ashes creates a picture that men who live there tend to crumble through the polluted air.
It also creates a picture for the inequality between its inhabitants and that of West Egg and East Egg, The valley of ashes is explained as a long stretch of deserted land where “ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills into grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.”(Fitzgerald 21) The term “grotesque gardens” uses alliteration to emphasize the odd relationship between ashes and greenery. The Ashes are connected with death while the extensive ridges and vivid gardens represent the bloom of the idea of equality as in “the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams.” (Fitzgerald 143). This shows a exposed image of hopelessness that engulfs the valley. William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily” is a great example of what some call the “Southern gothic” category, in which a Southern community lead to strange, grotesque behavior.
“A necrophiliac is described as a person who has an obsessive fascination with death and corpses (Mifflin 1)”. Emily, a necrophiliac in, “A Rose for Emily,” is a irrational, lost, and imperfect woman. A story packed with various amounts of symbols that make the story’s meaning clearer. Emily only knew one man growing up, that man turned out to be her father. He instructed her to trust no man, and not a single man would be good enough for her. He was the one people went to throughout the town and everyone looked up to him. The little town of snooping, curious people build the story of “A Rose for Emily.
” The people of the town are always wondering what Emily’s next step is going to be, or think about what she did while they were gone. Wondering what does she look like now or where that awful stench is coming from in her house. One day, she runs into a man in a compact town and they began to love each other.
Then, Emily decides to kill the man with rat poisoning and performs necrophilia until she dies and everyone in the town realizes what really happened in her house. Throughout the entire story of “A Rose for Emily” nobody knows who the people are in her town and we never find out the race, how old they are, or how tall or short they are and whether if they actually knew Emily on a personal level. They are simply people of a small town, people who tend to gossip . The only knowledge that we have is what the people say about her and the amount of judgment that is being made throughout the entire story. As though the reader is asked to detect the peculiar nature of the details that lie ahead in the beliefs of the South. Of course, the scrutiny of foreign traditions is nearly not enough to clarify Emily’s beliefs and motives for her strange and sinful crimes – killing her loved one and then incorporating a lifestyle with the man’s remains for numerous years. However, there is a fair amount of doubt concerning the way to comprehend the actions and thoughts of Emily. Emily is a development and symbolic representation of the society she lived in.
As such, her actions are driven not by an single psychological person but by a more larger social picture. Margaret Atwood shows us the division between ladies and women in “The Female Body” by interpreting how young women are continuously under the opinion of they have to meet today’s definition in order to be “good enough” in the society we live in and be acknowledged by men. Every single person is unique in their own special way, however the mass media has planted into every teenage girl’s brain that they are exactly like a Barbie doll and they characterize them like “The basic Female Body comes with the following accessories: garter belt, panti-girdle, crinoline, camisole, bustle, brassiere, stomacher, chemise, virgin zone, spiked heels, nose ring, veil, kid gloves, fish stockings.
.etc” (477). This creates the spine-chilling feeling that actual real life human beings are being compared to plastic dolls and making it seem like they have these similarities that only one of them should have. The lower standard self-opinion a woman has, the more beauty supplies she will spend money on to try and enhance her appearance. The best way to make her realize how unattractive she looks is by exposing her to the thousands of unrealistic, machine-made plastic dolls that she is told to look like. The rational view of this is further planted into a girl’s mind that they have to look better than the plastic dolls.
The mass media is inconspicuously motivating females to be particularly on the thinner side, thus tremendously adding to a young women’s negative self-esteem, because the looks of the women that is being idolized is almost unattainable. Ever since the portrayal of women in media are mostly unrealistic, numerous amounts of young women become depressed when striving for these goals and this generates feelings of reduced self-esteem. What is best understood about Grotesque Characterization is that it is commonly used as a brutal realization technique to show the true values that people are hiding. Despite it being so graphic at times, the utilization of it leaks out the cold hard truth for the people that is numb to it. For The Great Gatsby, it was the Valley of ashes that symbolized the men who crumbled there and the inequality between its inhabitants.
In addition to the grotesque was the Necrophilism that took place in “A Rose for Emily”, in which Emily was performing necrophilism “under the nose” of the townspeople in order to keep the traditions of the old south alive. In “The Female Body’, Atwood uses grotesque details to describe the comparison of the Female Body and barbie dolls, treating it like the Female Body is the actual barbie doll. In conclusion, these three grotesque-filled stories all dealt with the harshness and brutality the real world has to offer.